ODE News and Updates
Nancy Wilson, 4th Grade Parkmoor Elementary
Q: What lesson did you do with your students?
A: My students were learning about equivalent fractions. Some of them were struggling with understanding the concept so I wanted to give them an opportunity to create visual models of equivalent fractions. I did this in conjunction with the lessons from My Math. My students created arrays on a Geoboard and turned the arrays into fraction bars.
Q: What difficulties did the students encounter during this lesson?
A: One of the difficulties the students had was counting the pegs on the boards instead of the spaces when they were initially making the arrays. It caused a little confusion at first until we created a shared definition of the arrays we were making.
Q: What did the students gain from this lesson?
A: Creating the arrays helped my students gain a conceptual understanding of what a fraction looked like and how a fraction can be divided to create equivalent parts. I liked the way that it gave the students an opportunity to explore dividing fractions with the manipulatives and creating their own personal understanding of equivalent fractions. After working with the Geoboards for a few lessons, they began drawing the same fractions on grid paper so they could see a pictorial representation of their work. Working with the Geoboards gave me a way to assess who was still struggling with modeling equivalent fractions.
An Instructional Coach is Not Content Specific
While most teachers have preferences and even strengths in different content areas, an Instructional Coach is able to provide support across disciplines. This year, elementary Instructional Coaches were charged with supporting math, as well as, reading. Ms. Attiyyah Islam accepted the challenge and has been successfully supporting literacy and numeracy at her school. Read below what she has to say about how she balances her coaching responsibilities.
Attiyyah Islam, Instructional Coach Fairmoor Elementary
"As the Instructional Coach at Fairmoor Elementary, I provide differentiated coaching to our K-5 teachers. We are a Literacy Collaborative and Guided Math school. Each month has a different focus. Coaching cycles for the month of January focused on various components of Guided Reading. The month of February was dedicated to Guided Math and math workshop. This is a collaborative and collegial effort on the part of the administration, teachers, and me. We work together because the ultimate goal is to elevate our students in literacy and mathematics."
Katie E Jividen, 5th Grade Leawood Elementary
"Collaboration & Math Discourse leads to a better understanding of Volume for this 5th grade class at Leawood Elementary School," says their teacher Katie Jividen. She shares a brief explanation of the activity below.
In this lesson, we were exploring how to find the volume of three dimensional figures. Students were in small groups and each had a bag of unifix cubes. They were then given several different examples of possible dimensions for a 3 dimensional figure that they had the task of building as a group. They then had to find the volume of the figure that they created. We took many opportunities to stop and talk about how groups used different strategies to get to the same result. As a challenge to end the lesson, student groups were given the volume of a figure and they had to create as many different figures as they could that had that volume. The resulting conversation led to students understanding that there are several different ways to address the same problem and that working together can lead to better results!
Manipulative of the Month
Base 10 blocks are versatile manipulatives that can be utilized to support conceptual understanding for multiple standards at various grade levels. Click on the link below to explore some Base 10 block activities!